25 June 2010

Discount offer on Casefile Clues

It has been called the "best genealogical bargain around"--now get Casefile Clues (my weekly how-to newsletter) at a discount rate while I am at the Family History Expo in Loveland, Colorado.

Get all back issues (1-46) and a year of Casefile Clues (52 issues) at a special rate of $35. This represents a $5.50 savings!

Topics can be viewed here, but come back to this blog post to get the discount rate link.

Regular subscription rate is $17.00.

Back Issue Purchase Options for those who don't want the whole set, or who recently subscribed:

Blog Reviews of Casefile Clues:

22 June 2010

Land Ownership Maps at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com released a set of land ownership maps online. First off, let me say the indexing is extremely helpful. However, users should be aware that:

  • the collection is incomplete

  • some items are miscatalogued.

The image shown here is indicated as coming from Walker Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois in 1913. That's the county and township that shows up on the results page and what shows up as the heading on the page with the actual image.

Problem is that the image is for Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois. I haven't looked into it enough to be certain of the year. 1913 is not too far off. The map looks to be of that era and the image shown here includes the parcel of John Michael Trautvetter who died in 1916.

Lastly, Ancestry.com refers to them as "towns." I understand the need to have field terms for a database, but the majority of these jurisdictions are townships, not towns. In most of rural America, there is a difference.

20 June 2010

Burlington, Iowa 9 April 2011

I will be presenting an all-day genealogy workshop at the Burlington, Iowa, Public Library on 8 April 2011. More details will be posted as they become available.

If you'd like to have me present at your library, society, or genealogy group's seminar or workshop, please contact me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

14 June 2010

Reasons to Join Michael in Ft. Wayne in August 2010

The Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne houses one of the nation's largest genealogical collections. From 11-15 August, I'll be leading a group of genealogists there to assist them in learning more about genealogy research at the library and in researching their ancestors.

Why join us?

  • Small group--Our size is capped at 20. I want everyone who wants individual attention to get it. I don't try to see how "big" a group I can bring.
  • Experience--I've lead research trips to the Ft. Wayne library and the Family History Library in Salt Lake for ten years.
  • Get help--we don't dump you in the library leaving you like a lost sheep on the hillside. We help prepare you before we ever leave and before our trip ever starts.
  • We're focused on research--There is one lecture every morning, before the library evens open. You don't have to squeeze in research time between lectures. Lectures are intended to help you with your library time.
  • Broad research background--I've researched families in numerous time periods and locations across the United States and can assist on many problems. And when I don't know, I admit it. I don't make up an answer to satisfy you and prove that I can "answer every question." When I don't know, I help you to get the answer.
Learn more about our trip on our blog at:


We'd love to have you join us, but registration is limited.

Topics for San Mateo County CA Genealogical Workshop 6 November 2010

I will be presenting the Fall 2010 genealogy workshop for the San Mateo County Genealogical Society on 6 November 2010. I met with some of the Society folks while at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank this weekend, and we finalized our topics for the seminar:
  • Where Did the Farm Go?
  • Pig Blood in the Snow--Court Records Can Solve Problems
  • Where Could it be Written?
  • Researching the Entire Family

"Pig Blood in the Snow" was given at Jamboree, but I'll get different examples (except for one) and tweak it a little so that it's not the exact same lecture for those who were at the Jamboree, but the lecture title won't need to be changed.

I'm looking forward to my trip to the San Mateo area in November. The website of the the San Mateo County Genealogical Society has more information. Mark your calendars.

07 June 2010

New Sample of Casefile Clues

If it's been a while since you took a look at Casefile Clues, we've posted a new sample issue at


we don't always write about Germans--our focus is on the method.

Casefile Clues is reasonably priced at $17 for a year of weekly issues.

06 June 2010

Looking at the Locations of Marriage

I'm not much on writing prompts, but since I just located the "missing" marriage information on my last set of great-great-grandparents, I thought I'd look at the locations of where my parents through my great-great-grandparents were married, just to see what patterns and trends there were.

My parents:
  • Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois
My grandparents
  • Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois
  • Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois
My great-grandparents
  • Breckenridge, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois
  • near Basco, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois
My great-great-grandparents
  • St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Soap Creek Township, Davis County, Iowa
  • near Basco, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Golden, Adams County, Illinois
  • Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois
I'll stop there--I don't have all my third great-grandparents marriage records. Interestingly enough, both sets of my grandparents went "away" to get married. Everyone else pretty much got married exactly where they were living.

03 June 2010

Reserve a Spot in my 2011 Family History Research Trip to Salt Lake

We have set the dates for our May 2011 Family History Library research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah!
  • Arrive 18 May 2011 (Wednesday)--meet in hotel at 6:30 p.m. and have an orientation to library (optional) at 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday-Saturday--8:00 a.m. presentations at hotel, research all day (library closes at 9:00 p.m.), scheduled consultations with Michael.
  • Sunday--day off! Site-see, shop, or have afternoon consultation with Michael
  • Monday-8:00 presentation at hotel, research all day (library closes at 5:00 p.m.)
  • Tuesday-8:00 presentation at hotel, research all day (library closes at 9:00 p.m.)
  • Wednesday--check out! Optional morning presentation with Michael, if desired.

Complete registration is $200 (plus $4.75 for processing)-by 15 April 2011 . Email Michael at mjnrootdig@gmail.com for alternate payment options. Save your spot now and mark your calendar!

More details coming!